Leg of lamb is wonderfully versatile — it can be cubed and used for stew, braised, or simply roasted. Because it’s a well-exercised muscle, it also gets a good deal of blood flow; this means that it is one of the most flavorful cuts on the animal. Like beef, lamb doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through, and is best at a rosy medium-rare (135 to 140° F, when finished). Here, we’re rubbing it with lemons, garlic, and a spice mixture of coriander, cayenne, cumin, smoked paprika, and sumac — then roasting it to perfection.
Serves 8 to 10
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 7 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- One 4 ½ to 5-pound bone in leg of lamb
- Pulse everything save for the lamb in a food processor until a paste forms. Rub it all over the leg of lamb, wrap it tightly in plastic, and allow it to marinate overnight.
- The next day, remove the lamb from the fridge and wipe excess marinade off. Place it in a deep roasting pan and allow it to sit out of the fridge for about 45 minutes to bring it up to room temperature.
- While it rests, heat your oven to 450° F.
- Roast the lamb for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature down to 325° F and roast until a meat thermometer reads 135 to 140°, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Transfer lamb to a cutting board and tent it with foil. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.